A Home Run For Bunny
Written by Ricard Andersen
Illustrated by Gerald Purnell
Reading Level: Ages 6-Adult
Size: 9" x 11"
This is the story of a remarkable baseball team from Springfield, Massachusetts and its star player—a boy named Bunny who was the only African-American on the team.
The year was 1934, a time very different from today. Throughout much of the United States, and especially in the South, white children and black children went to separate schools. Many businesses, including hotels and restaurants, refused to serve black people. They even had to drink from different water fountains.
In those days, no major league baseball teams had black players. It was not until 1947 that a talented second baseman named Jackie Robinson was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie became the first African-American to play in the modern major leagues.
People were fighting for equal rights off the field as well. In 1955, a courageous black woman named Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to move to the back of a bus. The seats in the front were reserved for white people.
On August 28, 1963, more than three hundred thousand people marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. On that hot summer afternoon, Dr. King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, calling for a day when people would be judged “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Although the story of Bunny Taliaferro and his remarkable Springfield team is not widely known, it honors and celebrates an important event in the history of America’s struggle for racial equality.
Richard Andersen teaches writing and literature at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The author of 25 books, including novels, critical studies and books on writing, he won the college’s first “Excellence in Teaching Award” and was nominated by his college for the Carnegie Foundation’s United States Professor of the Year Award.
He has also served as a Fulbright Professor in Norway, a Karolyi Foundation Fellow in France, and the James Thurber Writer in Residence at Ohio State University. An avid sports enthusiast, Richard completed the New York City Bicentennial Marathon and played on a silver medal-winning basketball team in the New England Senior Olympics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Illustrator:
Gerald Purnell has illustrated two other books for Illumination Arts. Am I A Color Too? is the winner of seven national book awards.God’s Promise is the winner of three national book awards.
He is also the illustrator of the highly successful Bluford Series, which has sold over 12 million copies, published by Townsend Press Inc.
Gerald and his lovely wife of 34 years live in Lindenwold NJ; they have two children, both of whom are married. He may be contacted at email@example.com.
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